Community Members Speak Out About UMD's Policies On Race Initiatives

By KBJR News 1

May 17, 2013 Updated May 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Community members came together today outside of UMD to address a prominent issue at the Campus, racism.

The group is concerned about UMD's policies and practices when it comes to including people of color in their Strategic Plan.

The campus adopted a Strategic plan in 2011 to create a campus environment for students of all backgrounds.

However, some at today's gathering believe the initiatives outlined in the plan have failed to materialize.

Speakers at the forum said the school's plan indicates that it will serve the educational needs of indigenous people and American Indian Nations.

While the plan includes people of American Indian decent, the group points out the plan does not mention fostering relationships with people of African American, Latino, or Asian descent.

They believe UMD could do more to support and recruit students and faculty members of color.

"We've been to the university, we've been to the campus, we've talked about our concerns, we just don't feel...we feel like they have fallen on deaf ears. We haven't seen sufficient progress, we know that it can be better and we expect it to be better and we don't expect to wait forever for it to happen," said organizer, Claudie Washington.

"One of the university's recent initiatives is to hire a Faculty Fellow for Intercultural Initiatives. We began the search in April and hope to have the position filled later this month," said UMD Chancellor, Lendley Black in statement earlier today.

Black was unable to attend the forum today.

One thing the group would like to see is more recruitment efforts to high schools targeted at minority groups.

They would also like to see the school reach out to students of color that are already attending the university.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.